Sights in Barcelona run the gamut from cathedrals to casas to museums and more. Here’s a brief overview of what each neighborhood has to offer. El Gòtic is Barcelona’s most tourist-ridden neighborhood; despite the crowds of foreigners, however, the Gothic Quarter is filled with alley after alley of medieval charm. Beginning along the sea and cutting straight through to Pl. de Catalunya, Las Ramblas is Barcelona’s world-famous tree-lined pedestrian thoroughfare that attracts thousands of visitors daily. El Born is a sight in itself, with ancient streets surrounded by sloping buildings or crumbling arches suddenly opening onto secluded placetes. El Raval has its own beauties, from the medieval Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau to the present-day artwork housed in the modern buildings of MACBA and CCCB. L’Eixample’s sights are mostly composed of marvelous examples of modernista architecture; the Sagrada Família, in particular, is a must-see. Barceloneta is filled with Catalan pride, from the red-and-yellow flags hanging on apartment balconies to the museum devoted to Catalonia and its history. Gràcia contains the epic mountain/modernista retreat, Parc Güell, as well as a few independent examples of this historic Barcelonan style. Finally, Montjuïc—you know, that big hill with the castle on it that you can see from just about anywhere in Barcelona—is home to some phenomenal museums, a model Spanish village, and, of course, that castle.
Museu d’Història de la Ciutat
*Metro: Jaume I. Free multilingual audio tours. Museum and exhibition €7, students and ages 16-25 €5, under 16 free. ~ Open Apr-Oct Tu-Sa 10am-7pm, Su 10am-8pm; Nov-Mar Tu-Sa 10am-5pm, Su 10am-8pm.
Ajuntament de Barcelona
a more interesting, 15th-century one, located at the old entrance to the left of
the building (where the tourist office is on C. Ciutat). You can only get into the
City Hall building on Sundays or if you get voted in, but once you’re inside, it’s
marvelous. The lower level of this bureaucratic palace is home to many pieces
of sculpture from modern Catalan masters, while the upper level showcases
elaborate architecture, vivid stained glass, and lavish rooms like the Saló de
Cent, from which the Consell de Cent (Council of One Hundred) ruled the city
*Metro: Jaume I. Follow C. de Jaume I to Pl. de Sant Jaume; City Hall is on the left. Tourist info available at entrance. To enter, take alley to the left of City Hall and take a right onto C. Font de Sant Miquel. Free. ~ Open Su 10am-1:30pm. Tours every 30min. in Spanish or Catalan.
Catedral de Barcelona
*Metro: Jaume I. From the metro, turn left onto V. Laietana, then left onto Av. de la Catedral. Cathedral free. Museu €3. Elevator to terrace €3. Inquire about guided visit to museum, choir, rooftop terraces, and towers, as hours vary. ~ Catedral open M-Sa 8am-12:45pm and 5:15-7:30pm, Su 8am-1:45pm and 5:15-7:30pm. Entry with donation M-Sa 1pm-5pm, Su 2pm-5pm.
Palau de la Generalitat
*Metro: Jaume I. Take C. de Jaume I after exiting the station. Once in Pl. de Sant Jaume; Palau is on the right. Free. Make reservations online at least 2 weeks in advance. ~ Open to the public on Apr 23, Sept 11, and Sept 24, and on the 2nd and 4th Su of each month from 10am-1:30pm.
Gran Teatre del Liceu
*Metro: Liceu. Discounted tickets available. Tours start every 20min. ~ Box office open M-F 1:30pm-8pm.
Placa de l'Angel
*Metro: Jaume I. Free.
*Metro: Drassanes. Entrance located in base facing water €4, seniors and children €3. ~ Open daily May-Oct 9am-7:30pm; Nov-Apr 9am-6:30pm.
Palau de Musica Catalana
*Metro: Jaume I. On Via Laietana, walk toward the cathedral for about 5min., then take a right onto C. Sant Pere Mas Alt. Palau de la Música Catalana is on the left. Schedule of events and ticketing info on website. Guided tours €17, students €11, under 10 free. 55min. tours daily 10am-3:30pm, in English every hr. and Catalan and Spanish every 30min. ~ Guided tour schedules vary by season. Aug tours daily 9am-6pm, Easter week 10am-6pm. Box office open daily 9:30am-3:30pm; Jul and Aug 9am-8pm.
*Metro: Jaume I. Walk down C. de la Princesa and turn right onto Carrer de Montcada. Admission €11; ages 16-24 and over 65 €6; under 16, teachers, PinkCard cardholders, and ICOM members free. Audio tour €3. Accepts Mastercard and Visa. 1st Su of each month free, other Su free after 3pm. ~ Open Tu-Su 10am-8pm. Last entry 30min. before close.
Parc de la Ciutdella
*Metro: Arc de Triomf. Walk through the arch and down the boulevard to enter the park. Free Wi-Fi available at the Geological Museum, Parliament building, and Zoological Museum. Park free. Museum €4.10-7, Su 3-8pm free. Zoo €17. ~ Park open daily 10am-dusk. Natural History Museum open Tu-F 10am-7pm, Sa-Su 10am-8pm. Zoo open daily May 16-Sept 15 10am-7pm; Sept 16-Oct 29 10am-6pm; Oct 30-Mar 26 10am-5pm; Mar 27-May 15 10am-6pm.
Church of Santa Maria del Mar
*Metro: Jaume I. Walk down Carrer del’Argenteria to enter the plaça. Santa Maria del Mar is on the right. Free. ~ Open M-Sa 9am-1:30pm and 5:30-8:30pm, Su 10am-1:30pm and 5:30-8:30pm.
Arc de Triomf
the arch not only frames the palm tree-and-modernista-building-lined roadand its incredible terminus but also literally embraces visitors with a sculptural frieze by Josep Reynés inscribed with the phrase “Barcelona rep les nacions,” or “Barcelona welcomes the nations.” This declaration was made along with the arch’s construction for the 1888 Universal Exhibition, when it served as the main entrance to the fair grounds in the Parc. Today, the arch serves as little more than a historical artifact, but it’s worth a look if you’re in the area. The triumphant bricks-on-bricks of the arch was designed by Josep Jilaseca i Cassanovas in the Moorish revival style. Its exterior is decked out with sculptures of 12 women representing fame and a relief by Josep Lllimona that depicts the award ceremony. Much the opposite of gargoyles atop the structure are several white angel sculptures and eight massive. The whole thing graces the surrounding area with its architectural superiority.
*Metro: Arc de Triomf. Free.
*Metro: Liceu. Walk toward the water on Las Ramblas and take a right onto C. Nou de la Rambla. Rooftop closed when raining. Group reservations need 48hr. advance call €12, reduced €8. Free 1st Su of month. Audio tour included in admission. ~ Open Apr-Oct Tu-Su 10am-8pm; Nov-Mar Tu-Su 10am-5:30pm. Last entry 1hr. before close.
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona
*Metro: Universitat. Walk down C. Pelai, take the 1st right, and turn left onto C. Tallers. Take a right onto C. Valldonzella and a left onto C. Montalegre. Admission includes English-language tour. Entrance to all exhibit €9; children under 14, Tarjeta Rosa, over 65, the unemployed, teachers, members of the AAVC, and ICOM members free. ~ Open M-F 11am-7:30pm, Sa 10am-9pm, Su and holidays 10am-7pm. Library open M-Th 10am-7pm. Last entry 30min. before close.
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
*Metro: Universitat. Walk down C. Pelai, take the 1st right, and then turn left onto C. Tallers. Turn right onto C. Valldonzella and left onto C. Montalegre. General admission €6; seniors, under 25, large families, group visits, and single-parent households €4; 2 or more exhibitions €8/6. ~ Exhibits open daily 11am-8pm. CCCB Archives open Tu-F 3-8pm, Sa-Su 11am-8pm. Guided tours in Spanish Sa 11:30am. Last entry 30min. before close.
l’Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Peu
*Metro: Liceu. Walk down C. l’Hospital. Free Wi-Fi in courtyard. Biblioteca (932 02 07 97 www.bnc. cat). La Capella(932 42 71 71 www.bcn.cat/lacapella). ~ Open M-F 9am-8pm, Sa 9am-2pm. Biblioteca open M-F 9am-8pm, Sa 9am-2pm. La Capella open Tu-Sa noon-2pm and 4-8pm, Su 11am-2pm.
*Metro: Passeig de Gràcia. Walk away from Pl. Catalunya on Pg. de Gràcia; Casa Batlló is on the left. Tickets available at box office or through TelEntrada. Admission includes audio tour. €20.35, students and BCN cardholders €16.30. ~ Open daily 9am-9pm. Last entry 40min. before close.
*Metro: Sagrada Família. Towers closed during rain. Basilica €13.50, with audio tour €21.50; students €11.50; under 10 free. Elevator €4.50. Combined ticket with Casa-Museu Gaudí (in Parc Güell) €17. Online ticketing strongly recommended. ~ Open Apr-Sept daily 9am-8pm; Oct-Mar 9am-6pm; Dec 25-Jan 6 9am-2pm. Visitors must leave by 30min. past ticket office closing. Last elevator to the tower Nativity Lift 15min. before close. Passion Lift 30min. before close. Guided tours in English May-Jun M-F 11am, noon, and 1pm; Jul-Aug M 5pm; Sept-Oct M-F 11am, noon, and 1pm; Nov-Apr M-F 11am, 1, and 3pm.
including an apartment decorated with period furniture (contemporary to the house, not designed by Gaudí) and the main floor. The attic, a space known as Espai Gaudí, boasts a mini-museum to the man himself, including helpful exhibits explaining the science behind his beloved caternary arches and what exactly it means for the architect to be “inspired by natural structures.” It is complete with all his jargonistic models and Einsteinian mathematical formulas working behind the scenes to create his living oeuvres. Up top, a rooftop terrace gives light to what many a critic has called the perfect European Kodak moment, whether it be with the desert-like sculptural outcroppings part of the building or of the panorama overlooking Barcelona to the Sagrada Família. During the summer, the terrace lights up with jazz performances on Friday and Saturday nights in a series known as Nits d’Estiu a La Pedrera.
*Metro: Diagonal. Walk down Pg. de Gràcia away from Avda. Diagonal; La Pedrera is on the right. Purchase tickets to Nits d’Estiu a La Pedrera online via TelEntrada at www.telentrada.com. €16.50, students and seniors €14.85, under 6 free. Audio tour €4. Nits d’Estiu a La Pedrera €30; includes access to Espai Gaudí. 10 language options available for tours. ~ Open daily Mar-Oct 9am-8pm; Nov-Feb 9am-6:30pm. Last entry 30min. before close. Concerts mid-Jun-late-Aug, some F and Sa 8:30pm.
*Metro: Passeig de Gràcia. Walk away from Pl. Catalunya on Pg. de Gràcia; Casa Amatller is a couple of blocks up on the left. Reservation by phone or email required for tour. Tours €10. Kid workshops €6 daily 10am-8pm. ~ Guided tours M-F 10, 11am, noon, 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6pm.
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
*8, over 65, and unemployed €5. Modernisme Route 50% discount. Bus Turístic 20% discount. Barcelona City Tour 20% discount. ~ Tours in English M-Su 10, 11am, noon, and 1pm. Tours in French M-Su 10:30am. Tours in Spanish M-Su 11:30am. Tours in Catalan M-Su 12:30pm. Follow the information boards for updated information.
Fundació Antoni Tàpies
*Metro: Passeig de Gràcia. Walk uphill on Pg. de Gràcia and turn left onto C. Aragó. €7; reduced entrance €5.60. Articket free. ~ Open Tu-Su 10am-7pm. Closed Dec 25, Jan 1, and Jan 6. Last entry 15min. before closing. Museum shop open Tu-F 10am-7pm, Sa-Su 10am-2:30pm and 3:30-7pm. Library open Tu-F 10am-2pm and 4-7pm. Admission to library by appointment.
Fundació Francisco Godia
*Metro: Passeig de Gràcia. Walk away from Pl. Catalunya on Pg. de Gràcia and take the 1st left onto C. Diputació. Guided tours in Spanish and Catalan free Sa-Su at noon. €6.50, students €3.50. Temporary exhibits €5-10. ~ Open M-Sa 10am-8pm, Su 10am-3pm.
*Metro: Lesseps. Walk uphill on Travessera Dalt and take a left to ride escalators. Or Vallcarca. Walk down Avda. República Argentina and take a right onto C. Agramunt, which becomes the partially be-escalatored Baixada Glòria. Bus #24 from Pl. Catalunya stops just downhill from the park. Free. Guardhouse €2, students €1.50. Free Su after 3pm and 1st Su of each month. Casa-Museu Gaudí €5.50, students €4.50. ~ Park open daily May-Aug 10am-9pm; Sept 10am-8pm; Oct 10am-7pm; Nov-Feb 10am-6pm; Mar 10am-7pm; Apr 10am-8pm. Guardhouse open daily Apr-Oct 10am-8pm; Nov-Mar 10am-4pm. Casa-Museu Gaudí open daily Apr-Sept 10am-8pm; Oct-Mar 10am-6pm.
*Metro: Paral·lel. From the metro, take the funicular to the museum. €11, students €6, under 14 free. Temporary exhibits €4, students €3. Espai 13 €2.50. Sculpture garden free. ~ Open Jul-Sept Tu-W 10am-8pm, Th 10am-9:30pm, F-Sa 10am-8pm, Su 10am-2:30pm; Oct-Jun Tu-W 10am-7pm, Th 10am-9:30pm, F-Sa 10am-7pm, Su 10am-2:30pm. Last entry 30min. before close.
Museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya
*Metro: Espanya. Walk through the towers and ride the escalators to the top; the museum is the palace-like structure. Permanent exhibit €12, students €6, under 16 and over 65 free. Annual subscription (permanent and temporary exhibits) €18. Combined ticket with Poble Espanyol €15. Articket €30. Audio tour €3.10. 1st Su of each month free. ~ Open Tu-Sa 10am-7pm, Su 10am-2:30pm. Last entry 30min. before close.
*Metro: Espanya. Walk through the towers, ride the escalators, and take a right €11, students €7.40, at night €6.50 (valid after 8pm); combined visit with National Art Museum of Catalonia €18. Audio tour €3. ~ Open M 9am-8pm, Tu-Th 9am-midnight, F 9am-3am, Sa 9am-4am, Su 9am-midnight. Last entry 1hr. before close. Workshops and shops open daily in summer 10am-8pm; in fall 10am-7pm; in winter 10am-6pm; in spring 10am-7pm.
*Metro: Espanya. Walk through the towers and take the escalators up Montjuïc. Barcelona Pavilion is on the 1st landing to the right; follow the signs. €5, students €2.60, under 16 free. Free 30min. guide service Sa 10am, English 11am, Spanish noon. Catalan Bus Turístic, Barcelona Card, Barcelona City Tour reduction 20%. Cash only at front entrance. ~ Open daily 10am-8pm.
Castle of Montjuïc
*Metro: Espanya. Montjuïc telefèric on Avda. Miramar. Free. ~ Open daily Apr 1-Sept 30 9am-9pm; Oct 1-Mar 31 9am-7pm.